Space games -- what elements do you like the most?

…and you also can provide naming rights, mining rights, ownership, etc. But yes, there’s definitely a point where, in a finite universe, it’s all been seen and done.

Multiplayer, storage, and ‘living universe’.

With an infinite universe you’d end up never having players run into each other. With an infinite universe, storage would be impossible (even with my current scaled down dimensions of 32 x 32 x 32 ly it’s tough). Finally, if I want there to be living, breathing NPCs, they need to operate in a finite space so that proper behaviour can emerge.

There’s a big difference between randomly generated and procedurally generated, and I’m aiming for the latter.

Really minor thing in comparison to the macro gameworld concepts being tossed around, but: The most interesting space combat for me remains the X-Wing/TIE Fighter model, and I think it’s mostly because there was a strategy to how you balanced your ship’s systems during the fight. Deciding which system to dump more power into and being able to shift your shields around (brilliant interpretation of “angle the deflector shields,” IMO) really added something. Some of the most intense moments in those games for me involved making that last desperate torpedo run at something while pumping everything into the rear shields in a last-ditch attempt to keep myself alive long enough to get the shot off.

Time, once again, to stump for Uncharted Waters 2. But in space. Please?

Anyway- Advancement/Wealth/Combat and I don’t care about the others.

The core of any good pirate/merchant/explorer game(and this was where the most recent Pirates! ultimately failed) is I do a thing so I can get better at doing that very same thing. I run a trade route so I can buy a bigger ship so I can make more money per run. I pirate some bitches so I can buy a better gun and pirate even more bitches. I’ll explore to find new trade routes or new guns, but want I really want is a treadmill that takes me to “King of this system” in short order.

Is Escape Velocity still sweet? I don’t want to play the X games because I’m sure they’ll disappoint me, but I have fond memories of Escape Velocity on a Mac circa 1998.

Derailing a moment. What’s Uncharted Waters 2, and why did you like it? It sounds kinda neat.

Its hard to have a randomly generated universe once the uniiverse is created. Sure each game will be differant, but overall, though it will be, oh, another alien base, oh another thorium rich asteroid, oh, another space anomaly.

Id like to see this explorer problem cracked with ‘more types’ of things to explore asside from simply ‘more of’ to explore. I think the trick would be to find 10 explorer activities or more if possible.

In earth and beyond there was a whole write up I did on explorers being able to do things for explortation experince. It only came down to one or two new activites but could have added a lot to the explorer experience.

Basically it was like the pokemon thing. E&B was populated with lots of space monsters and space animals. Actually there were a lot of ‘animals’ that were not hostile to jenquai explorers that were to other player types.

My idea was that explorers could study these animals and monsters (even if they were hostile). At first you would learn what they looked like and could then cloak your ship to look like them finally to mimmicing them flawlessly. At this point they would no longer be hostile to you if they were. Further study would let you learn how to talk to them.

Depending on how intellgent these creatues were, you could learn very useful stuff from them. Maybe some tech, or some technique for doing something. It also could have some good uses in PvP where if you learned what monsters inhabited what sectors, you would know which ones to call for backup or even get some to help you get safely through a certain normally dangerous areas.

Anyway, that is just one more kind of thing for explorers to do. Overall though, even if you had improved sensors, stealth, and all that, it still would get dull. So I can map systems better. What makes this system so special that I want to explore it other then grinding cash or xp?

In a small universe you can craft all the systems to be that intresting, but the drawback is that there are only a few sectors. In randomly generated one, you lack the ability to make such a universe intresting enough to want to really explore.

I suppose the key here would be to create some random sector generator that really could turn out some very intresting, but totally randomly generated stuff that would make it worth just flying out into the blackness of space trying to find these nuggets of coolness.

In E&B, one problem with that was usually flying off the beaten path netted you nothing of intrest to find, although once in a while you did find something cool.

SNES pirate game. As so

Incredibly huge gameworld that shames Port Royale and Pirates!, playable gameplay paths for merchant/combat/explorer types. Hundreds of things to find or buy and sell.

Space is just a setting that I happen to like. There isn’t anything about space that is inherent to gameplay.

Are you looking to combine the elements into something like an Escape Velocity/Space Rangers or build a more focused title?

Put me down as “really really really doesn’t want first-person ship combat” in my hypothetical dream big space game. Because I want upgradeable ships and lots of different ship types to acquire/hire as npc’s etc. And I want to see them. It’s the same reason 3rd person rpg’s are way better than 1st person – in 1st person you don’t get to admire whatever new item you got for your geeky barbie doll.

OOhh, there’s a DOS version too. I’m gonna look into that, thanks!

But space is inherent to FRICKIN AWESOME.

Multiplayer, storage, and ‘living universe’.

With an infinite universe you’d end up never having players run into each other. With an infinite universe, storage would be impossible (even with my current scaled down dimensions of 32 x 32 x 32 ly it’s tough). Finally, if I want there to be living, breathing NPCs, they need to operate in a finite space so that proper behaviour can emerge.

There’s a big difference between randomly generated and procedurally generated, and I’m aiming for the latter.[/quote]

Random, procedural - just as long as every time I start up a new explorer there’s a new universe to explore. Multiplayer isn’t something I’m worried about. If this is a game about primarily about exploration, which is what I was addressing, other players aren’t necessary and wouldn’t add that much to the experience.

I haven’t seen many NPCs in space games that really come particularly close to living and breathing with the exception of Terminus. If you could give pilots “memories” like those fellows did it’d certainly add an element of party building and faction affinities that could be interesting. Getting to know who’s out there, and how they get along or don’t, is perhaps the most interesting part of exploring. Including mechanics to alter relationships between yourself and the factions, and between the factions themselves, would add real strategic depth to the gameplay.

Look at every TV series ever made about explorers in space. It’s who they encounter out there, and what those folks are up to, that makes things interesting.

“New” doesn’t mean interesting. If each planet or system is just some random lookups in a table, then the universe feels ad hoc and without any central guiding principles. There’s nothing emergent. It would be great if each time you created a universe, however, if everything was different but also logical. The Varbs are fighting the Glorns because there’s a mineral rich planet in a territory between them, etc.

If you could give pilots “memories” like those fellows did it’d certainly add an element of party building and faction affinities that could be interesting. Getting to know who’s out there, and how they get along or don’t, is perhaps the most interesting part of exploring. Including mechanics to alter relationships between yourself and the factions, and between the factions themselves, would add real strategic depth to the gameplay.

Yes, this is a key element for me. If I can’t do this, I won’t bother doing it.

So…six years later, I’m making this my official “Side Project 2.0”. Since I’m confident about my ability to ship side projects since my life is vaguely in order (post-divorce, full-time and stable job, etc.), and since my first one is out the door and was a great learning experience, I’m going to do this one.

The game has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time (witness age of thread necro), and I’m going to focus first on prototyping the core combat loop, and if that turns out not to suck, then move forward.

The kicker is that this will likely be a tablet only game since the mechanics I envision are very touch oriented, however if Marmalade can redeploy to Windows easily enough then I can see releasing it on Steam for cheap.

Cartographer/scout for me. Too bad I can’t do it in real life.

I was going to make a post, then I read page 1 and saw I made a lot of posts already. Just a reminder on exploration being a big thing for me. Places, things and technology.

Huzzah! Keep us informed, my friend.

SO HARD!

I like blowing shit up. I like ACTUAL GOOD diplomacy. Planet colonization, too.
It’s like I want all in one?
StarControl and StarFlight and Mount&Blade: Warband (wait what? well, yeah, just make it space-y)…I love everything, but I want it all in one.
Master of Orion? Hell yes. Toss it in!

How the fark does one approach such a game design? Beats me!
Could it possibly even work without ending up an epic fail? probably not!

Define “ACTUAL GOOD diplomacy”